Safe boating campaign to conclude Labor Day weekend

Published 2:25 pm Thursday, August 27, 2020

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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and its partners will conclude the “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign over Labor Day weekend. The annual multi-agency initiative works to ensure North Carolinians can travel safely on the road and on the water during summer holidays.

During last year’s Labor Day campaign, wildlife law enforcement officers issued 345 warnings, 192 citations and removed 28 people who were boating under the influence from the state’s waterways.

Across the state, law enforcement officers will aim to help discourage impaired operation of vehicles and vessels throughout the holiday weekend. In North Carolina, a driver or boat operator with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08 is subject to arrest.

“We expect to see lots of boats in the water over the Labor Day weekend,” said Lt. Sam Craft. “If alcohol is a part of your holiday plans, be sure to designate a driver and return home safely.”

Drinking affects the skills necessary to operate a boat, including:

• Coordination and reaction time;
• Judgment and rational decision-making;
• Balance and equilibrium; and
• Peripheral vision and ability to focus.

The Commission’s Preserve Your Life campaign reminds all boaters to put on a life jacket before entering a vessel. Wearing a life jacket is a simple safety precaution that can prevent tragedy from happening in the event of an accident.

Night boating typically increases during holiday weekends, which requires boaters to use caution and to be on high alert due to reduced visibility. Inland lighting rules are in effect and water skiing is prohibited between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. Personal watercraft are prohibited on state waters between sunset and sunrise.

Learn more about enjoying North Carolina’s waterways at